Boy Scouts of America Embrace GPS at 2005 National Scout Jamboree: Magellan Handheld GPS Receivers Power Jamboree's First-Ever Geocaching Course
Magellan GPS Teaches Scouts Navigation and Life Skills in the Outdoors
Santa Clara, Calif. (June 20, 2005) Today more than 42,000 Boy Scouts and leaders from across the United States will use more than maps and compasses to learn the ropes of outdoor navigation during Boy Scouts of America's 2005 National Scout Jamboree, July 25 through Aug. 3 in Virginia. For the first time in its 68-year history, the Jamboree will teach advanced navigation skills through the use of Magellan® GPS receivers donated by Thales. The Magellan-sponsored educational program will offer scouts a fun and exciting learning experience through geocaching (gee-oh-cashing), an increasingly popular outdoor GPS challenge likened to a high-tech treasure hunt.
As the exclusive GPS sponsor for the 2005 National Scout Jamboree, Thales donated its Magellan eXploristTM 200 handheld GPS receivers and other program materials, plus eXplorist 600 handhelds and Magellan RoadMateTM 700 vehicle navigation systems. During Jamboree geocaching missions, Scouts will arm themselves with Magellan eXplorist 200s to find locations where geocaching containers, or caches, are hidden with fun finds and prizes inside. Scouts who participate will receive a commemorative Jamboree geocaching card certified by the Boy Scouts of America and Magellan GPS Products.
The National Scout Jamboree is a quadrennial event that brings scouts from across the country to Fort A.P. Hill near Richmond, turning the 76,000 acres of wilderness into a tent city. During the event, BSA conducts programs designed to promote physical fitness, teach environmental conservation and reflect the skills and true spirit of scouting.
"In Scouts, geocaching is much more than a treasure hunt," said Dr. Mary Stevens, an avid geocacher who mapped out the Jamboree's first-ever geocaching courses this year, and is vice president of programs for the Marin Council BSA in California. Stevens says teaching scouts how to use GPS through geocaching does more than simply augment traditional map and compass navigation aids.
"Scouting is 'Fun with a Purpose,' meaning there are multiple lessons to be learned through an activity," added Stevens. "The Geocaching program sponsored by Magellan will educate scouts, promote teambuilding and reinforce leadership skills among the 11- to 18-year-olds participating - lifelong principles that will carry into adult life. Growing numbers of troops nationwide are incorporating geocaching into their patrol, troop, and council activities. And now that geocaching is being introduced at the Jamboree, we expect it to join the ranks of repelling, canoeing and swimming as one of the Jamboree's most enjoyable, rewarding activities."
"Magellan is thrilled to partner with the Boy Scouts of America to incorporate GPS tools in a program that recognizes geocaching as a fun learning experience that ties technology with an appreciation for the outdoors while promoting the ideals of scouting," said Roger Jollis, director of Outdoor Solutions for Thales' consumer business. "The easy-to-use eXplorist 200 will allow Scouts to learn to use a GPS receiver in minutes and is expected to be a hit as it leads scouts to find fun collectible items over the course of the Jamboree."
The Magellan eXplorist series includes six easy-to-use, palm-sized handheld GPS receivers suitable for the first-time user to the GPS expert. More information on the complete line of Magellan products is available at www.magellangps.com.
About Thales' navigation business Thales' navigation business unit develops and manufactures world leading positioning, navigation and guidance equipment. It markets its Magellan brand GPS solutions in the consumer electronics, recreation, and automotive markets, and its GPS and GNSS professional products in the survey, GIS/Mapping, and OEM markets. Key innovations include the first U.S. commercial hand-held GPS receiver for positioning and navigation, and the first handheld GPS with industry standard Secure Digital Memory Card capabilities. Thales' navigation business unit is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA and has worldwide operations. For more information, visit http://www.thalesgroup.com/navigation.